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The Translation Process: a guide for MDPH Programs Prepared by Jordan Coriza, Office of Public Health Strategy and Communications March, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "The Translation Process: a guide for MDPH Programs Prepared by Jordan Coriza, Office of Public Health Strategy and Communications March, 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Translation Process: a guide for MDPH Programs Prepared by Jordan Coriza, Office of Public Health Strategy and Communications March, 2007

2 Translation Vs. Interpretation TRANSLATION: Changing a written message from one language into another by focusing on the concepts and not a word-for-word substitution. INTERPRETATION: Changing one language orally into another language enabling the recipient of the message to respond as if she or he heard it in the original form and voice.

3 “Bad Translation” “Today, being among the biggest and most conceited companies of the sector is responsible for 6% of domestic alcohol production sales. [company name] represents a group of 11 alcohol plants among the most solid and highly conceited in the country, shaping this group able to reach all the exporting demands.” Conceited: from conceituado, meaning highly regarded Alcohol: from álcool, meaning alcohol or ethanol Advertisement translated from Brazilian Portuguese.

4 Office of Public Health Strategy and Communications (OPHSC) Overview OPHSC Assists Programs to: Develop easily translatable materials Identify linguistic populations across the state Contract with translation vendors Review translation Maintain consistency

5 Translation Process Audience Geographic focus Age, gender, race, ethnicity, country of origin Message-specific Materials Review Appropriate reading level Culturally appropriate messages and illustrations Accessibility considerations Printer and electronic-friendly versions Sufficient space for language expansion Finalized English versions are sent for translation no further edits necessary

6 Process Translation Vendor Master Service Agreement vendors only Use a recommended translator/agency Give background information to translator and a contact person in your program to answer questions Develop a list of key concepts and share with translator – especially in multilingual projects

7 Process Inform translator of internal reviews, potential need for changes, file types required (Word, PDF), additional services (DTP), proofreading, exchange protocols (FTP), etc. Discuss specifics – space constraints, bilingual formats, image changes, etc. Obtain itemized cost estimate and turnaround time

8 Process Translation Cost For internal projects – contract line For subcontracted projects – services outlined beforehand Timeline Sufficient and realistic time allocated Commission Translation

9 Process Quality Assurance Documents are reviewed internally following peer review guidelines and OPHSC QA form Comments and suggested changes are provided to translator in writing Agreement is reached and changes are justified following discussion, glossary consultation, etc Language and date are listed, in English, on document DTP on final version is performed Translator proofs final copy Back-up copies are made


11 Examples from the field Cost and budgeting Winter Safety project – unforeseen costs of project management, DTP, reviews, fonts, colors, etc. Time-consuming contract amendments and encumbrances Audience Family Planning – Simplified Vs. Traditional Chinese Perinatal Depression – Continental Vs. Brazilian Portuguese

12 Materials Review Literacy Observations Abstract Ideas (reference to intangible) “If the baby cries for a long time, try playing rhythmic music.” “Your answers will create an avenue to assist other pregnant women and new moms.” “Taking preparatory action now is a way to exert a measure of control over the unknown.” Unreferenced concepts (ideas out of context) “Health Care Reform has expanded health care coverage for residents and you may now qualify for these new benefits. Health benefits through Commonwealth Care provide comprehensive coverage including…” Long Term dependencies (distance between subject and verb) “6 out of 10 people who do not get treatment on a timely manner after having a stroke have serious disabilities.”

13 Materials Review Parallel Structure “Bureau of Family and Community Health” Technical Terms, Brand Names, and Better Known as “Cardiopathy Vs. Heart Disease” “SOS Vs. steel wool” “Oxycontin Vs. Percocet” Informal Language (consistency problems) “Take charge of your life with…” “You have special talents. Be around to pass them on.” Subjunctive and Compound Nouns “Let’s prevent diabetes step by step” (“Prevengamos la diabetes…”) “Heart disease and stroke prevention and control program” Passive Voice “What help is covered?” “They have not been shown to be safe”

14 Examples Translation Vs. Copywriting (taglines/branding) “Let’s make smoking history” “Ready, Set, Quit” “Getting healthy. Staying healthy. Together” Cultural Appropriateness and Images “Magic Recipes” Pentecostal Russians objected “Twinkle, twinkle little star…” doesn’t translate Safe Sleep, African American baby on Vietnamese translation Color pictures don’t print well in B&W

15 Other Considerations Formats and Fonts Accessibility guidelines for posting online Missing fonts result in garbled text Printing Send fonts, colors, other format files Specify colors as Pantone or CMYK Peer Reviews and Field Testing A plan for community and peer reviews to anticipate feedback. E.g. Mass Health Fact Sheet Revisions, changes, and edits should be documented

16 Avoid Non-professional translations: staff or program performed Back translation Web based translation tools: “ Pickpockets beware! Undercover police working in this area! In July three pickpockets received sentences of over four years!” “The pickpockets are kept. Police of the inner deck that works in the area. In July three the pickpockets received prayers of the prison over of four years.” ATA Chronicle, February 2007

17 Promising Practices Materials created in target language Translatability and cultural appropriateness checks Identification of key concepts Collection and sharing of existing materials with translator Open and clear communication with translator Review teams Field testing Alternative file formats

18 Resources – population profiles OMH – FLNE Report Mass CHIP Office of Refugees and Immigrants (ORI) US Census Epidemiology data Hospital based interpreter services department data

19 Homework Office of Multicultural Health Translation Guidelines Translation Request Form Translation Checklist QA Form In-house Peer Review Guidelines Glossaries American Translators Association (ATA) HSPC Health Literacy Studies

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